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Customers prefer omnichannel shopping: Report
May '17
Courtesy: Avanade
Courtesy: Avanade
The lines between digital and physical shopping are getting more blurred, according to a recent report. It says that customers are preferring omnichannel interactions that offer a consistent, frictionless customer experience for research, purchase, order, ship, return and exchange – no matter if they are in-store or buying through digital platforms.

The growth of the digital touch points has forced physical stores in fashion and apparel to embrace capabilities and tools that enable digital transformation, states the 'Fashion & Apparel: Achieving a frictionless shopper experience and streamlined operations' report by Avanade and EKN. So stores are implementing capabilities such as access to digital catalogues that can be displayed on in-store tablets or kiosks along with physical/digital integration as store fulfilment of digital orders, in-store mobile offer personalisation, in-app mobile shopping and click and collect.

Shoppers in general want a unified experience across both the digital and physical formats, yet only a few are actually experiencing it. Retailers can alleviate this by understanding shoppers better, upgrading and integrating store technology to encompass all shopper engagement and operational touchpoints, and ensuring frictionless blocking and tackling like preventing out-of-stocks, localising assortments, and providing the most optimal prices and offers, according to the report.

An equally important aspect of digital and omnichannel shopping is delivery and management of the 'last mile'. Most customers who place online and mobile orders have come to expect speedy delivery, to the point that free shipping within a day of purchase coupled with a free returns policy has become a driver for retailers as they strive to meet customer shopping expectations.

Retailers need to be aware of all of this when it comes time to prioritise their digital investments, so there is a focus on the 'unified' commerce needs of their customers. Growth in digital shopping coupled with smart in-store omnichannel technologies has redefined the way fashion and apparel retailers operate. It can increase sales, minimise advertising and marketing expenditures, and open the floodgates for new opportunities for operational collaboration between channels, adds the report. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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